Category Archives: Uncategorized

A little off topic today

Lately it feels like the Interwebs are loaded with stories about “perfect” kids—4.3+ GPAs, 1400+ SATs—not getting into their first choice schools. Kids are being told that getting into a “good college” is the “best path” to a “good life” so they work hard, hit all the marks they’re supposed to, and then get shut down in the college admissions process. (Scare quotes are deliberate there.) Going into a four-day trip chaperoning the high Continue reading A little off topic today

2018 Rhodes Scholars

As May 1 approaches, undecided students or those disappointed not to have received an admissions offer from their top choice should take a look at the 2018 Rhodes Scholar winners. The diversity of educational institutions represented in the list speaks volumes about the range of universities that can prepare students to excel in a variety of areas. While elite schools are of course well-represented, the winners come from a variety of institutions including public, private and military. The accompanying press release highlights four students chosen from colleges who had never before had a Rhodes Scholar: Hunter College, CUNY; Temple University; the University of Alaska Anchorage; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“And, It Comes With a Money Back Guarantee”

From time to time, another fee-only advisor writes a post for my blog. This is from Warren Ward of WWA Planning & Investments. I hope you enjoy a new perspective!

Josiah Wedgewood founded his eponymous china company in 1759. He used a range of clever marketing strategies to promote his china across the Western world and among them was today’s title, a selling technique still in common use. These days, such a guarantee is almost assumed as retailers struggle to defend market share. As soon as one Continue reading “And, It Comes With a Money Back Guarantee”

New York Fed Report on Debt

It’s good that the New York Fed releases its quarterly report on debt in the US before most college acceptance and financial aid award letters go out. Why? Because it gives us a chance to look at what is going on in the world of student loan debt and help our students avoid joining the lost world of young adults with excessive debt.

This quarter’s report shows that household debt is approaching its peak reached in the Continue reading New York Fed Report on Debt

Rebalancing 529 Accounts

You can rebalance your 529 plan account twice a year. Just because you can, should you? If you’re in an age-based investment option, you don’t need to rebalance to maintain the correct asset allocation. That’s what an age-based strategy does for you. Those who select their own funds should rebalance, especially since your allocation has probably become Continue reading Rebalancing 529 Accounts

PATH Act and 529s

The PATH Act that went into effect in 2015 includes several changes pertinent to 529 plans. The big ones:

  • Computers, peripherals and Internet access are now qualified expenses. So add any money spent on those to what’s on your 1098-t.
  • People with multiple 529 accounts no longer need to aggregate them to determine how much is taxable earnings in the event of an excess withdrawal. Instead a single account can be used for that, as long as funds were withdrawn from that account.
  • In the event you receive a refund from a college– for example, you withdraw from a class– you can now redeposit that refund in the 529 account within 60 days for no penalty.

Continue reading PATH Act and 529s